Zoroark [QC 3/3] [GP 1/2] [QC Rejection 2/3]

Katakiri

Listen, Brendan...
is a Pokemon Researcher
#1

Zoroark

Overview
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Gen VI has been very kind to Zoroark overall. Thanks to the Steel-type nerf and Knock Off buff, what was once a Pokemon that lived and died by its gimmick is now one of the fastest STAB users of one of the better offensive types in the game. Zoroark is now less reliant on coverage and is much harder to switch into. However, as is often the case, it's not all good news for the Illusion Fox. Zoroark still takes hits like a wet paper bag and, while not as common as Steel-types, the new Fairy-type Pokemon wall Zoroark with ease, which is a bitter trade for Steel-type neutrality. While Steel-types were bested by a well-placed Low Kick or Flamethrower, there are really no options for Zoroark to overcome Fairy-type Pokemon. But even with such obstacles, Zoroark can be a volatile threat in OU with correct use of Illusion combined with its naturally powerful Dark-type STAB attacks.

Swords Dance
########
name: Swords Dance
move 1: Swords Dance
move 2: Knock Off
move 3: Sucker Punch
move 4: Low Kick
ability: Illusion
item: Focus Sash / Life Orb
nature: Jolly
evs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe / 4 HP

Moves
========
Knock Off and Sucker Punch ensure that Zoroark packs a punch no matter what the Speed of the opponent is. Sucker Punch is the more powerful attack against Mega Evolutions, as Knock Off does not get its Base Power boosted. Low Kick allows Zoroark to nail opposing Dark-types as well as hit Heatran harder.

Set Details
========
The ideal use for this set is to use Illusion to net a Swords Dance, then sweep with a Focus Sash to support it. However, Illusion isn't always reliable, so it will commonly be using Focus Sash to get the Swords Dance it needs. However, if your team packs particularly threatening or convincing Illusions, a Life Orb can be used to have Zoroark muscle its way past bulky sweepers such as Garchomp. A Jolly nature allows Zoroark to avoid playing games with Pokemon that run Substitute such Landorus as well as potentially avoiding Mega Pinsir's Quick Attack moving first and nullifying Sucker Punch.

Usage Tips
========
Zoroark's physical movepool is horrid and the one other move that would be decent, U-turn, is counterproductive with Swords Dance. Low Kick is very much needed to not be walled by fellow Dark-types such as Bisharp and Tyranitar. Packing Defog or Rapid Spin onto a team is a necessity for using Focus Sash. It is also very important to keep in mind that Illusion is a tool, not a necessity. Zoroark is plenty scary by itself with high Speed and powerful Dark-type STAB alone. Seriously, never compromise an advantageous situation just to give Zoroark's Illusion a better chance of fooling the opponent later.

Team Options
========
Terrakion makes a fantastic Illusion and lures Gliscor in for a Knock Off. Skarmory can use both Defog and Stealth Rock, while Latios and Latias can also Defog and make for great Illusions. If using Life Orb, the damage Zoroark takes from Stealth Rock is very important to having a convincing Illusion. Focus Sash demands Defog or Rapid Spin support, so hazards should be a non-issue for that variant. Mega Venusaur is a fantastic Pokemon that covers Zoroark's weaknesses and makes for a decent Illusion as well. Any Pokemon that can lure in and KO Fairy- or Fighting-types are welcomed as it can't be stressed enough that Zoroark is hard walled by Fairy-types. Additionally, having Zoroark appear as powerhouses like Pinsir forces the opponent to take action which can net free turns to Swords Dance or force and opponent like Aegislash to attack and try to prevent the Pinsir from Swords Dancing instead of scouting for Zoroark's Knock Off.

Other Options
========
Mixed sets can potentially work well with STAB Sucker Punch backed up by Zoroark's decent special movepool. Nasty Plot may be tempting, but many common OU Pokemon can outpace Zoroark, and Zoroark lacks any special priority moves to hit them with. Purely special attacking sets are generally inferior to sets with Knock Off, but they have a larger coverage movepool as well as Dark Pulse's flinch rate to help them. Focus Blast can nail Dark-types on special attacking sets, but a missed attack can easy spell the end of Zoroark. Night Daze is a mere 5 Base Power more powerful than Dark Pulse but trades a 20% flinch rate and 100 accuracy for 95 accuracy and a 40% chance to drop opponent's accuracy one stage.

Checks and Counters
========
**Being Careful of Illusion**: Zoroark's ability, Illusion, makes it harder to counter than similar Pokemon and intelligent use of it can make for very awkward situations if battling a Zoroark.

**Fairy-types**: Most Fairy-type Pokemon wall Zoroark hard and are at best hindered by a Knock Off.

**Bulky Dark-types**: Bulky Dark-types, especially Mandibuzz and Sableye, can pose as huge obstacles to Zoroark if Low Kick cannot hit them super effectively.

**Mega Evolutions**: Bulky Mega Evolutions such as Mega Venusaur, Mega Pinsir, defensive Mega Charizard X, and Mega Heracross can give physical Zoroark trouble, as Knock Off has only 65 base power against them.

**Exploiting its Lack of Defenses**: Zoroark is so frail that most offensive Pokemon can OHKO Zoroark with an unresisted STAB attack, so if you can figure out Zoroark's game and not get slammed by Sucker Punch, it's not too hard to manage against it.
 
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#2
How about giving this thing Safety Goggles? This item could allow it to impersonate a Rock/Ground/Steel type during a Sandstorm, such as Garchomp, Scizor, and Aegislash. It can also let it impersonate a Grass type if hit by a powder move such as Venusaur, Breloom and Amoonguss, all of which are weak to Psychic
I'd also like to bring up Substitute to allow it to scout on switches.
 

Krauersaut

sharpen your knife
is a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnus
#3
I myself absolutely love being able to viably fit Zoroark on my team; for one, be sure to add good teammates that it can disguise itself as; for two, although this may attract a lot of hatred towards me;

Zoroark @ Focus Sash
Ability: Illusion
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe / 4 Def
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Sucker Punch
- Knock Off
- Low Kick

This works extremely well in Ubers, and I believe it would make a dent in the metagame for Zoroark as well.
(P.S: This Zoroark set has beaten Orch and Ogasian, two reputable Ubers mods :P)
 
#6
Oh right, I forgot Genesect is allowed (I haven't played for a while, I'm waiting for Pokebank).

So if Genesect gets banned, then Modest would be fine?
 

Srn

I use Focus Punch like I do my women: Unprotected!
is a Pre-Contributor
#7
I think teammates like Venusaur (that can fake resists to fighting and fairy) should be mentioned.
Also, safety goggles should be mentioned in OO atleast for top-tier mind-games. You lose out on the item, but the mind-games, the mind-games!
That's the only reason you're using zoroark in the first place, so why not abuse the hell out of it?

For the all-out attacker set, mention that it's easy for a smart player to keep track of LO damage to warn himself/herself zoroark is out, so other Life Orbed partners are great.

You should also mention that it takes heavy damage even from unSTAB u-turns, so keep a rocky helmet user nearby or something?
 
#8
Alright, let's do this
I myself absolutely love being able to viably fit Zoroark on my team; for one, be sure to add good teammates that it can disguise itself as; for two, although this may attract a lot of hatred towards me;

Zoroark @ Focus Sash
Ability: Illusion
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe / 4 Def
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Sucker Punch
- Knock Off
- Low Kick

This works extremely well in Ubers, and I believe it would make a dent in the metagame for Zoroark as well.
(P.S: This Zoroark set has beaten Orch and Ogasian, two reputable Ubers mods :P)
This should be the main set, no question. Gen VI's buff to Dark-type and Knock Off made the Swords Dance set significantly more dangerous. Illusion grants you the opportunity to set up on a revenge kill (don't bother leading with this; it's too obvious), and the combination of Sash and +2 Knock Off/Sucker Punch let's you come out on top against virtually everything in standard.

Couple of things:
-Defog users are absolutely vital for this set's success. Hazards limit the effectiveness of Illusion and ruin Focus Sash, so a good Defog user is basically mandatory. Latias has the distinction of having pretty decent synergy with Zoroark, and Zoroark can lure in and mess up its checks and counters.
-Mandibuzz is bad news

Make sure you test the set so you can get a feel for it, since Zoroark is pretty technical.

The set order should be SD > AoA> Scarf > Specs. Special sets are noticeably worse than the Physical sets, and i'm doubting the legitimacy of Scarf. (It's really, really weak...)
 

Katakiri

Listen, Brendan...
is a Pokemon Researcher
#9
Sounds good to me. I was trying to think of a decent way to incorporate Swords Dance into the All-Out Attacker set but Focus Sash + Defog eluded my thoughts. Because of that, I think we could remove AoA and just have the Swords Dance set replace it. AoA's primary use in Gen 5 was threat-removal and Flamethrower was strictly for Steel-types which are no longer an issue bar Skarmory. The Swords Dance set potentially has threat-removal covered even better than AoA thanks to Focus Sash so I don't see much use in keeping it.

PK, I feel the same way about Scarf (and noted it as such earlier). I'd move it below Specs, if not get rid of it entirely, if it weren't for Scarf Genesect being so common and so easy for Scarf Zoroark to lure and take down. It depends on Genesect's suspect test but I don't want to delay QC checks for 2+ weeks for one set so I'm thinking about just putting it below Specs for now and, if Genesect stays OU, have it brought back in front of Specs but below Swords Dance via Small Subjective Changes. That's just me assuming the set even gets that far in QC.

Anyway, I'll delay fixing this up for a day just to get a better feeling for the Swords Dance set before I write about it. Nice work btw, Krauersaut!
 

Krauersaut

sharpen your knife
is a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnus
#10
Thanks for positive feedback on my set; was more concerned about being flamed that of it actually working ^_^

Please be absolutely sure to add Wobbufet into Mons that collaborate well with Zoroark... there is absolutely no trainer that won't be intimidated by a Zoroark imposing as Wobba. The best part is, they'll give you that set up turn, and quite possibly another as well. Just think of it this way;

+4 252+ Atk Zoroark Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Rotom-W: 307-363 (101.3 - 119.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO

With Wobba on the team, it's easy to make the other person want to rip their hair out, thereby easily allowing you to attain +4. Rotom-W is a ridiculously common and fairly dangerous threat in the OU metagame, and as such, this can almost count as a check to that, being able to absolutely massacre it.

I'll add more to this as I go along; whilst I'm relatively new to Smogon and OU, I know what works >:)

EDIT: Also, Lando-T, you say? Just for the sake of it, say Lando-T ran max defense, and switched in on your +4 Zoroark...

+3 252+ Atk Zoroark Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Landorus-T: 288-340 (75.5 - 89.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

Eat that... Sucker Punch afterwards takes it out on the switch in, or if you're not confident in him attacking, (which you really shouldn't be, if you're up against a competent player) you can Knock Off, which is guaranteed to outspeed, because even if Lando-T was somehow faster than you, that would lead to a Knock Off OHKO.
 
#11
Please be absolutely sure to add Wobbufet into Mons that collaborate well with Zoroark... there is absolutely no trainer that won't be intimidated by a Zoroark imposing as Wobba. The best part is, they'll give you that set up turn, and quite possibly another as well. Just think of it this way;
I tried that in gen 5, and it didn't work. When I led with my "Wobbuffet", people switched out to an appropriate check.
 
#12
I myself absolutely love being able to viably fit Zoroark on my team; for one, be sure to add good teammates that it can disguise itself as; for two, although this may attract a lot of hatred towards me;

Zoroark @ Focus Sash
Ability: Illusion
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe / 4 Def
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Sucker Punch
- Knock Off
- Low Kick

This works extremely well in Ubers, and I believe it would make a dent in the metagame for Zoroark as well.
(P.S: This Zoroark set has beaten Orch and Ogasian, two reputable Ubers mods :P)
Would there be any reason to run Jolly over Adamant or is Sucker Punch enough to take care off faster threats?
 

Krauersaut

sharpen your knife
is a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnus
#14
Would there be any reason to run Jolly over Adamant or is Sucker Punch enough to take care off faster threats?
Everything that you can't outspeed with adamant (save Genesect) is 1-2hko'd by +2 - +4 Sucker Punch. Absolutely no point in taking Jolly, let me assure you.
 
Likes: JR
#15
Could you please elaborate more on why Wobba + Zoroark work well as a pair? If I see Zoro and Wobba on the same team, I will most definitely check whether I can switch something out once Wobba comes in, so it will tell me immediately which of the Pokemon is on field. If there's more to it than that, could you please expand more? Not ruling your teambuilding out, just curious on how it actually works.
 

Krauersaut

sharpen your knife
is a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnus
#16
Could you please elaborate more on why Wobba + Zoroark work well as a pair? If I see Zoro and Wobba on the same team, I will most definitely check whether I can switch something out once Wobba comes in, so it will tell me immediately which of the Pokemon is on field. If there's more to it than that, could you please expand more? Not ruling your teambuilding out, just curious on how it actually works.
Zoroark copies EVERYTHING, including the Shadow Tag mockery, which means that you'll get the message displayed meaning that you are trapped.
The other person will most likely do everything in their power NOT to get attacked, thereby giving you at least 1 SD. When they realize that they CAN switch out, more than likely they will, which will get you +4, which is massively powerful.
 

Katakiri

Listen, Brendan...
is a Pokemon Researcher
#17
Would there be any reason to run Jolly over Adamant or is Sucker Punch enough to take care off faster threats?
Glad you asked, because I've been battling with the set all day. I'm finding Jolly to be better than Adamant but Adamant does still work.

The issue is that, while I get the vibe that Swords Dance Zoroark is more meant to be a clean-up sweeper, it can't beat some other clean-up sweepers; Mega Pokemon in particular. It's for the same reasons that I was listing the All-Out Attacker set as +Speed nature. Neutral-nature Zoroark speed ties base 91 Pokemon (Landorus-T's tier for reference) which means not only do you have to play a guessing game with Sub Garchomp and Sub Landorus-I but Mega Pinsir and Mega Medicham outspeed Zoroark and can nullify Sucker Punch with Quick Attack or Bullet Punch. All the while Zoroark gains nor loses any significant OHKOs between Jolly and Adamant. I'm seeing Jolly as the primary option but Adamant will still be slashed with it.

Zoroark copies EVERYTHING, including the Shadow Tag mockery, which means that you'll get the message displayed meaning that you are trapped.
The other person will most likely do everything in their power NOT to get attacked, thereby giving you at least 1 SD. When they realize that they CAN switch out, more than likely they will, which will get you +4, which is massively powerful.
Wobbuffet is one of Zoroark's worst disguises if only beaten by Ditto. The notification for switching always says you MAY not be able to switch out. Any player is going to see Zoroark and Wobbuffet, put two and two together, and at least try to escape no matter what the notification message may say because there is absolutely no penalty for trying to escape from something with Shadow Tag or Magnet Pull and they could always have the wrong ability so you'd be foolish to not try even without a Zoroark present in battle.

Anyway, I'm gonna try to flesh out the analysis a some more using these hip, new "tabs" I've read about. But yeah, I'm still getting used to the new tabbed format so bear with me.
 
#20
Think you could add snatch in the OO? Snatch Zoroark has helped me steal the wishes numerous times. It also severely hindered baton pass teams. Lastly, if you disguise yourself as someone seen as set-up bait (I used forretress), you can rob opponents of their boosts.
 

Martin

Explorer
is a Forum Moderatoris a Live Chat Contributor
Moderator
#21
i feel that swords dance should be moved down, and for an all out attacker set to be added. The sets will be in this order:
  • All Out Attacker
  • Choice Specs
  • Choice Scarf
  • Swords Dance
 
#22
i feel that swords dance should be moved down, and for an all out attacker set to be added. The sets will be in this order:
  • All Out Attacker
  • Choice Specs
  • Choice Scarf
  • Swords Dance
The Swords Dance set is its best set right now as it utilizes the two best attacks in Zoro's arsenal(sucker punch and knock off) with its decent attack and good speed and interesting ability to disguise it as something with different checks/counters. A nice little add-on for the SD set is that most people think "SPECIAL" when they see Zoro, so walls and checks created for special pokemon (especially Chansey) get pummeled by +2 Knock Off.

A mixed set could be viable, but the reason physical>special imo is due in part greatly to its access to STAB priority and knock off, which the special set lacks.
 

Martin

Explorer
is a Forum Moderatoris a Live Chat Contributor
Moderator
#23
The Swords Dance set is its best set right now as it utilizes the two best attacks in Zoro's arsenal(sucker punch and knock off) with its decent attack and good speed and interesting ability to disguise it as something with different checks/counters. A nice little add-on for the SD set is that most people think "SPECIAL" when they see Zoro, so walls and checks created for special pokemon (especially Chansey) get pummeled by +2 Knock Off.

A mixed set could be viable, but the reason physical>special imo is due in part greatly to its access to STAB priority and knock off, which the special set lacks.
OK. I understand your point there.
Choice Specs
########
name: Choice Specs
move 1: Dark Pulse
move 2: Extrasensory
move 3: Hidden Power Ice / Flamethrower
move 4: Trick
ability: Illusion
item: Choice Specs
nature: Timid
evs: 252 SpA 252 Spe 4 HP

Choice Scarf
########
name: Choice Scarf
move 1: Dark Pulse
move 2: Extrasensory / Hidden Power Ice
move 3: U-Turn
move 4:Trick / Memento
ability: Illusion
item: Choice Scarf
nature: Mild / Hasty
evs: 252 SpA 252 Spe 4 HP
I'd say that you're better off putting Night Daze in the main sets dashed with Dark Pulse. Also, Focus Blast is superior to Extrasensory on Zoroark (don't mention Fighting-types: Zoroark doesn't want to stay in and eat a Mach Punch anyway). Switch round the order of HP Ice and Flamethrower on the Specs set. Flamethrower has more utility on Zoroark even with the Dark-type buff for its ability to hit Mega Mawile - a far greater threat to Zoroark than Togekiss is. Also have the second slot on the Scarf set as Focus Blast / Flamethrower / Hidden Power Ice.
 
#24
QC APPROVED (1/3)

Good work!

EDIT: We decided to reject the Scarf set. Despite getting the jump on a couple of key threats, it's too weak to work as a revenge killer. It fails to do significant damage to +1 Charizard-X, for example.
 
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